Monday, October 26, 2009
African American History, October 26
Today in African American history we looked at the constitutional convention in regards to slavery. The founding fathers purposely omitted 'slavery' from the constitution but there are many references including the 3/5ths compromise which counted a slave as 60% of a person. While a slave could not vote, the south was given a larger proportionate representation in congress because slaves were counted in the general census at a 3/5 fraction. This would become a contentious issue throughout western expansion and was eventually settled in the Civil War. Additionally the Slave Fugitive Act allowed slave owners to cross state lines to capture a slave. As we discussed last week, a slave who fought for the Continental Army received his freedom at the conclusion of the war if he was from the north; a slave from the south therefore could runaway to a northern state and assume a life as a black free man. The Slave Fugitive Act was put into place to discourage slaves from running away to the north.